Boxed Pincushion Tutorial

Sep 2021
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A boxed pincushion is a great addition to your sewing space - try this free tutorial

I'd like to share with you a simple boxed pincushion that has become a major workhorse in my sewing space!

I made the top panel using one of the free paper pieced patterns designs by Nicole from Lillyella.

If you'd like to make one of these butterflies, hop on over to her blog and get the pattern.

If you'd like to use another design for the top, I cut my unfinished block to 4.5" square, to give a finished pincushion size of 4".

So what do I mean by boxed?

I'm talking about the added shaping to make this a box shape.

In this case four rectangles joined together.

To get started you'll need:

  • Top panel 4.5" x 4.5"
  • [4] side panels 4.5 " x 1.5"
  • base 4.5" square
  • polyfil for stuffing
  • 3/4 cup of rice for extra weight

Seams are 1/4" throughout. Back stitch beginning and end of all seams.

Cut out all pieces from cutting list.

Pincushion parts

I also reinforced the reverse of my butterfly block with lightweight fusible interfacing.

This covers up the seams to avoid them catching while sewing, and provides extra stability to keep your block square.

Top with interfacing

Mark 1/4" on the top and bottom of the rectangles.

Stitch right sides together between marks, leaving the top and bottom sections open.

This makes it a lot easier to turn the corners. Join all four sections together this way, and press seams open.

Gusset corner and side

Now you can attach the strip of rectangles to the top of the pincushion.

Open up the corners as you approach them and turn the next side at 90 degrees.

You can also back stitch if you wish at the beginning and end of each corner to reinforce.

top with gusset

Attach the bottom square to the centre strip using the same method, and making sure to leave enough of a gap to turn it through.

Inside out

So now we come to my filling tools...a funnel, and I have lately been using polyfil and rice in my cushions... the polyfil on the top for loft and softness, and the rice for weight and bulk, as I like the way it fills it out.

There's nothing like having some weight to your pincushion to keep it in place while you stuff it full of pins!

I put a good amount of polyfil in first, and then using my funnel, slowly fill with some rice until it's pretty full you've got about 3/4 of a cup in there.

Keep holding the little gap shut and turning up the right way to eyeball the shape and work out how fat you want it.

This can be quite messy, and I'm always spilling the rice during this part, so take it slow!

Then I go between poking more polyfil in, and adding more rice until I'm happy with the shape.

Pincushion Stuffing

Here's a shot of how full I made it.

Then blind stitch the opening closed.

Give it a last press to make the seams a bit sharper.

I also like to pull the corners out with a pin if they are still tending to poke back in.

Cushion opening and sewn up

Admire the finished product.

Isn't she purdy??

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Meet Ali Phillips

So glad you stopped by for a read! I'm a sewist with a passion for family, creativity, & organisation.